From a young age, Tylan had a feeling that they were different. They felt alienated, especially at school, and found it difficult to fit in. Growing up, Tylan was continually told off by their teachers at school. This caused them great anxiety as they didn’t know what they were doing wrong. Tylan would often leave the classroom, feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and their teachers struggled to understand their behaviour. They were often made to feel that they were being ‘naughty’ when in reality, they were suffering from Autism and needed support, empathy and understanding.
However, with limited knowledge or understanding of Autism, Tylan’s teachers and classmates often told her they would never excel in a social school environment. As a result, they believed they were an outcast and would never ‘fit in’ with their peers.
Being diagnosed with ASC
After consulting a mental health professional, Tylan received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). This diagnosis helped them make sense of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It also made them realise that they were different to the people around them but that there was a reason for this.
“Having a diagnosis of Autism helped me realise that I’m not an outcast”
Autism is not an illness, it is a spectrum condition that varies across each area and therefore affects each person differently. However, for a diagnosis to be considered, the overall impact on daily functioning and quality of life must be significant. There also has to be evidence of the condition in the child’s early development. However, in high functioning children the social communication differences may not be apparent until much later on in life.
Tylan’s experience of growing up with Autism is not uncommon. They describe suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks, which are common mental health conditions associated with autism. In fact, 70% of children with ASC develop at least one co-occurring mental health issue.
The bright side of growing up with Autism
Tylan is able to see the advantages of having autism, as well as its challenges. For example, they are incredibly perceptive and notices small details that others might miss.
Despite being made to feel that they wouldn’t do well in life due to their Autism, Tylan has achieved success as an actor and explains that they are flourishing in their new environment and career.
Tylan wishes they had a better experience with teachers and peers at school but now understands that there is still a great deal of work needed to educate others about Autism.
Tylan feels that all children are different, and some have special needs. If they are struggling to follow instructions or complete tasks, that doesn’t mean that they are naughty. These children need to be listened to and adjustments need to be made for them.
“It’s so important to feel like you’re being heard”
At Nip in the Bud we believe that early intervention is key to helping diagnose and treat child mental health conditions. We provide free resources for parents, teachers and carers, including films and fact sheets about the 7 most common mental health conditions in children.
If you’d like to learn more about Autism Spectrum Condition, visit our information page.
You can listen to Tylan’s story about growing up with Autism here.